Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I know from experience that arrowroot doesn't work very well, so I'm curious to know which ones actually do.

Thanks a lot for any help!

share|improve this question
1  
Curious, what goes wrong when you try arrowroot with dairy? (Also, you could certainly use flour, as in Béchamel) –  derobert Apr 6 '12 at 20:33
2  
I have never had a thickener which didn't work with dairy. I haven't tried arrowroot, but starches are generally very good. Could you pleas post details? What were you making, what ingredients did you use, what temperature, and what was the end result? –  rumtscho Apr 6 '12 at 20:35
    
I wanted to thicken some stock with arrowroot that I poured over ground beef, which I had sautéed in butter, and it turned into a slimy mess. It was done over low temperature. Perhaps it was something else, but Cook's Thesaurus mentions this effect as a downside. foodsubs.com/ThickenStarch.html Maybe the answer is "everything except arrowroot"? :) –  cptloop Apr 6 '12 at 20:51
    
also consider using bread as a thickener in some recipes. –  smcg Oct 29 '13 at 17:11
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Your answer of "everything except arrowroot" is spot on. You should use a corn starch slurry in all likelihood. It is less expensive and more commonly available and will not create a "slimy" consistency; corn starch is also purported to have a creamier texture.

Arrow root also may have been overcooked by your preparation as described in your comment as it has a lower temperature that it needs to reach relative to other thickeners. Keep it handy for your acidic sauces, but keep to corn starch for the dairy. A benefit of arrowroot in clear sauces is that it won't make the sauce cloudy as will corn starch; however with dairy this is not a concern.

share|improve this answer
1  
Thanks! I looked it up in Modernist Cuisine I see a correlation between the texture of the thickener itself as being "creamy" and it being recommended for use with dairy (corn and flour). So I guess there's that, and the taste of the thickener that you need to take into consideration. –  cptloop Apr 7 '12 at 13:44
1  
@cptloop as long as you add in the slurry to simmering liquid (I typically pour it slowly while stirring the pot) then bring to a boil, simmering will remove the starchy taste –  mfg Apr 7 '12 at 20:53
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.